book club Bielefeld

English-language book club Bielefeld

Hello and welcome to the internet presence of the English-language book club in Bielefeld. Not the only one, but the one that I am in, so it makes sense that this one has its own page on my website and the other ones do not.

Note: both groups are currently full, but we are still getting plenty of requests to join, so we will be starting a third group soon! You can find the form to register your interest at the end.

How does it work?

Each monthly meetup is hosted by a member of the group on a rotating basis. The host decides which book the group will read. They can suggest, say, three ideas and have a little vote, or just decide on a book; the second system works better than you might think.

When do we meet?

The Wednesday group meets every second Wednesday of the month at 19:30.

The Thursday group meets every last Thursday of the month at 19:30.

A third group will be started soon. Meeting time to be decided!

Where do we meet?

The meetup’s host decides! Sometimes it will be the host’s living room, sometimes a quiet café in Mitte, sometimes a park, sometimes a space at the university.

Does the group cost money?

No, we are not a club with a membership fee, or anything like that. You will have to get your hands on the book each month (there are ways to make that cheap, see below). If we meet in a café you will have to pay for at least one drink.

What kinds of books do we discuss?

It’s a super mixed bag. We’ve read character-driven novels like Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, classic scifi like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, comedy/fantasy like Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and memoirs like Walk through walls by Marina Abramovic. We also read non-fiction, but this is rarer.

You can view the Wednesday-group schedule here, and the Thursday group schedule here.

Do the two groups ever mix?

Yes! In February 2023, the Thursday group organised a movie night and invited the Wednesday group. In July we had a communal picnic. In December we rented the Filmhaus and watched Christmas movies.

Because the Thursday group meets on the last Thursday, we always skip December, because generally nobody is around. Some Thursday group members therefore join the Wednesday group meeting in December.

Are the groups only for native speakers?

You do not have to be a native speaker, but your English has to be good enough to comfortably hold a conversation on any topic. In other words, you should be a near-native speaker.

The groups are currently about 30% native speaker, 50% German, 20% other language backgrounds.

Is there an age restriction?

Nope. As long as you are an adult, you are welcome.

How often would I be expected to join?

You will be expected to at least try to come along every month. Of course, you can be ill, or out of town or something. But the book club meeting should have a fixed spot in your calendar. In this way, this group is different from the other book clubs in Bielefeld.

Doing it this way means that most members are present every month. This means the discussions are better, people really get to know each other, the group has more staying power. It’s a bit like doing sports; if you have a fixed appointment, then you actually go, but if you can choose to go or not, then you usually end up not going.

If you are looking for an English speaking social group in Bielefeld, but don’t want to have a fixed appointment once a month, I have compiled a list of other groups here.

Would I have to buy a new book once a month?

If you like to read from paper, I strongly recommend for cheap second-hand books.

Also: the library! Bielefeld library costs 25 euros a year and also allows you to take out e-books from the whole of NRW.

We also have other ways of getting you an electronic file. (wink, wink)

How do members communicate?

We have a WhatsApp group.

The WhatsApp group is for existing members; if you have been to at least one meeting and have decided you would like to make the monthly commitment to join the group, we will add you.

If you do not have WhatsApp, you can still join. I’ll forward the meeting venue to you every month. But you’ll be missing out on the discussions in the WhatsApp group.

Can I come to one of the meetings to see if it is for me? Does that mean I have to read the book?

Yes, you can come to one of the meetings and then decide if you want to join or not. In fact, that is how we want it to be! However, you do have to read the book. If there is too little time before the next meeting on the schedule to read the book, then you will have to skip that one and come to the next one.

Sounds good! How can I join?

Please fill in this form.

If you want more information, you can put your question in the last bit of the form, or email me on bookclub (at)

I wrote you a message, but didn’t get a response?

I always reply to everyone, but then sometimes I don’t hear back, leading me to think my email may have ended up in spam. So if you didn’t hear from me, please check your spam folder to see if my message ended up there!

If you filled in the form and didn’t hear from me, you may have mistyped your email address. Reach out to me on bookclub (at)